This talk was presented as a part of the MSR EdgeNet Summit 2006 on issues in campus and enterprise networks. More information available on that site.
Traditional systems management has not been successful, and with ever-increasing scale, complexity and agility the problem keeps getting worse. The central problem is a lack of knowledge of the managed systems: what they are like, and what they should be like. We need formalized knowledge, in the form of system models, that allow automated management of deployment, configuration, security and operations. This knowledge must be captured already during the development phase, with models and policies refined and adjusted during the system’s life cycle. Microsoft’s industry-wide Dynamic Systems Initiative is aimed at providing infrastructure and tools for model-based management.